“I am from South Korea. I am a feminist. And this is the first time I get out of my country, to spread my story, to spread the challenge I - and so many other women - have in my country, to express, to have a voice, to have a saying against males who want to take advantage of us. I have seen and experienced intense and horrible scenes. I want to share and to connect. I want to make a change.”
“I am scared of social connections. I am scared of being amongst humans. The nature, the forest, is where I feel at home. I connect and I communicate with nature. This is how I learned to sing 150 different bird melodies. I am part of nature. But I don’t feel part of the society. And this is the first time I am brave enough to stand in front of 100 humans, to tell you that, I feel part of this. That you made me feel part of this group. To connect, to show myself. To be here with you, instead of the forest out there.”
“I use this space to be who I don’t always dare to be. To put a conscious mask on and allow myself to be a total different person - and yet - be myself. It is a place where I test myself, where I get to know myself in other levels. Where I connect to humans in different levels. And maybe not ever to see them again. But at the same time, being connected for as long as I’m alive. They leave a mark ok me. I leave a mark on them.”
We arrived like floating particles in the air. We were pixels of an image that no one really knew how it would look like. We were given a place, hidden inside an exuberant nature in Sweden. Humans from more than 18 countries. We were given a space - and the possibility - to create connections. Visible and invisible ones. Physical, emotional and mental ones. We interacted through stories, eye contact, hand contact. A hug. A tear. Many tears. We walked, danced and sang together. We had awkward and fun moments. We got to know names that we couldn’t even pronounce. We ate fresh food cooked by magic hands. By our own hands. The same that volunteered to clean, to organize, to serve ourselves. We arrived as particles, but soon connected to each other. Some stronger. Some just as a temporary person. A smile - one of those that makes the eyes smile profoundly. A warm hug. One of those that make our oxytocin levels sky rocket. And that was only a stranger, passing by during a session. A helpful hand when someone fell on the street, while running to the next destination. We created a pattern. A routine. Connections and disconnections. In between sessions and meals. Singing and shoes. Teachings and learnings. A stage and the nature.
All of you.
We shared stories.
We are not the same souls.
And the same question was still floating in the air: “Can we make a change?”
And then I ask you: “Are you ready to change?”
It starts from within. And many gave this first step - or maybe a step further - during this week.
Let the ripple effect come through.
how did I land here?
Two years ago, I participated in an Unschool Fellowship in São Paulo, where I connected on a learning and active - crazy - journey on systems thinking, sustainability and design - with other 15 humans from all over the world. I met Isabel. Who I encountered again in the end of the same year, this time in California, while doing an Educators Program for the Unschool too. We connected, and lived another crazy journey, this time in the mountains with other 10 humans or so. This was the last time I saw her. However, the power of the connections the internet gives us, brought us together again, this year in Sweden. She saw I was in Switzerland, she gave my name to the YIP group as a possible contributor. And that’s how I ended up there, and got to meet other 100 amazing humans, and got to see Isabel again too. And this was only possible through the sharing and caring of connections - on and offline.
what did I do during this week?
All of the above. I was invited as a contributor. I connected. I participated in a few sessions, but was also part of the support team to the YIPs organising the forum. A support however they needed me to be. I was in front of the stage, but also standing behind the stage. I read between the lines and then drew lines on a panel that grew through the five days of the Forum. That was then harvested in the end, as a summary of all the words and human contacts that happened that week.
Pixel, patch, pattern.
That was the name of the fully booked workshop I hosted on Wednesday. In the same way we arrived as particles, or pixels, we are individuals walking on earth. We are connected. To our routines, to humans around us, to our environment, to behaviours, beliefs, thoughts and acts. We create a pattern. From ourselves into our sphere of influence. The change starts from within.
Are you ready?
To travel, to explore, to insert myself in other cultures. This kind of experience kicks me out of my own context. Pushes me to change perspectives. To question my own habits and behaviours. The mind and heart seem to expand almost immediately. The creative process gains other layers that connect to other experiences.
Don’t you talk mainly about art and business? Well, this is my business, and it should be yours too. What will my art be in a place that doesn’t exist. In a place that is burning down into flames. That is being drowned by huge waves. How will my art be if not an expression? If not a manifestation? Art is expression. Art is a manifest. Art is sustainability.